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Home > Country focus > Tunisia > Marzouki Extends State of Emergency Through June 2014

Marzouki Extends State of Emergency Through June 2014

Monday 4 November 2013, by Tunisia Live

Amid continued violence and political instability, President Moncef Marzouki further extended the state of emergency declared after the 2011 revolution, which provides the government a range of special powers.

Marzouki made the decision Saturday to extend the state of emergency through June 2014. This marks the 34th consecutive month the status will be in effect since former president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali fled the country on January 14, 2011.

The measure comes after a string of incidents this year in which armed gunmen have killed national guard officers, police officers, and soldiers.

Security concerns were further raised on October 30 when a suicide bomber killed himself in front of a hotel in Sousse. The same day, a man was arrested carrying explosives at the mausoleum of former president Habib Bourguiba in Monastir.

The law providing for this measure dates back to 1978, and provides the government special powers “in the case of imminent danger resulting from serious attacks on public order” or when events cause a “public calamity.”

The conditions of the state of emergency include restrictions on the movement of persons and vehicles. The government can ban any strike or lockout, and the activities of foreign tourists can also be regulated.

The Ministry of Interior may order the temporary closure of theaters, bars, or other venues of any kind. Meetings can be banned and authorities may order house searches by day or night.

The government can also “control” the press, media, film screenings, and theater performances, according to the 1978 law.

Violations under this law can carry punishments varying from six months to two years imprisonment.

Ministry of Justice spokesperson Adel Riahi told Tunisia Live in June that the application of the state of emergency law is not “firm,” and that it is implemented only when serious crimes are committed. In such cases, the defendant is accused of “breaking the emergency law” in addition to the other charges.

SOURCE: http://www.tunisia-live.net/2013/11/04/state-of-emergency-extended-until-june-2014/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=state-of-emergency-extended-until-june-2014

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